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RIVER CAMP! Virtual Education Series

RIVER CAMP!

Finding yourself in an education program at your kitchen table and backyard? RIVER CAMP!  is a compilation of K-12 education resources.  We also have a plethora of educational resources we encourage you to utilize on our Curricula Page. * Videos are created with smartphones during the time of stay-at-home protocols.

River Nature Walk

Featured May 27, 2020

Student Activity: What will you find when you visit the San Antonio River?

Take a nature walk along the San Antonio River. You can explore the river in downtown San Antonio's urban environment or in a more natural setting along the Mission Reach section of the River Walk. You'll be surprised to find that there is nature all around you, wherever you are! No matter where you go, remember to be curious and have fun!

While you're exploring the river, check out the San Antonio River Authority citizen science program that is part of a global community.  You can become a volunteer Citizen Scientist and start collecting important, research-grade data right now! No experience necessary.  Simply use your smartphone to download and sign-up on www.iNaturalist.org for free! Once you're in, be sure to join San Antonio River Projects.

For younger children, using an interactive and free app called iNaturalist SEEK, children can get outside, explore and learn fun facts about the nature all around them. They can identify wildlife and plants and take pictures to earn badges. Here is the link:  https://www.inaturalist.org/pages/seek_app

Suggested activities on SEEK, based on skill- Observe a plant, an insect, a bird, or pick your favorite species and share a few facts about it. Go on a scavenger hunt. Photograph a plant/animal interaction, photograph an animal's home, photograph animal clues like tracks and nests, photograph something of a certain color, or just make up your own criteria. Whatever it is, remember to be curious and have fun!

Benefits of Bees

Featured May 20, 2020

 

Student Activity - Did you know that there are an estimated 700 native bee species in Texas? In fact, many plant species rely on specific bee species for pollination. The Bees of Central Texas is a guide from the University of Texas' Jha Lab and its collaborating partners that provide useful identification clues for bees.  You can also learn how to survey bee populations near you!

 

Fascinating Facts about Native Grasses

Featured May 13, 2020

 

Student Lessons 

If Nerf balls, battleship games, and games of tag sound fun to your family, why not learn while playing games at the same time?

The University of Northern Iowa's Tallgrass Prairie Center has a wealth of incredibly fun and engaging lesson plans that teach kids of various ages all about the importance of native grasses. Click HERE to explore the list!

 

Fish Stories

Featured May 8, 2020

Student Activity - Click HERE. Channel Catfish are native fish species in the San Antonio River and they have many unique adaptations to survive and thrive in the San Antonio River. Conduct family research on the other kinds of fish that live in our river.

River Authority scientists monitor how the fish species are faring to gauge the health of the river. Click here for more info on fish species that live in the San Antonio River .

Don’t forget, fishing in the river is a fun family activity.

Little Fish Tell A Big Story

Pervious vs Impervious Surfaces

Featured May 6, 2020

 

Student Lesson - Pervious vs Impervious DIY Model

Click HERE for a hands-on lesson that you can do at home to study the difference between pervious and impervious surfaces. You'll be surprised how beneficial increased pervious surface in a neighborhood can help the San Antonio River and your neighborhood, alike!

 

Neighborhood Nature Walk pt 2

Featured May 1, 2020


Student Activity - What did you see on your neighborhood hike?  

Using an interactive and free app called iNaturalist SEEK, children can get outside, explore and learn fun facts about the nature all around them. They can identify wildlife and plants and take pictures to earn badges. Here is the link: https://www.inaturalist.org/pages/seek_app

Suggested activities on SEEK, based on skill- Observe a plant, an insect, a bird, or pick your favorite species and share a few facts about it. Go on a scavenger hunt. Photograph a plant/animal interaction, photograph an animal's home, photograph animal clues like tracks and nests, photograph something of a certain color, or just make up your own criteria. Whatever it is, remember to be curious and have fun!

Neighborhood Nature Journals

Featured April 29. 2020

Want a cool tool to help create mindful moments of curiosity at your neighborhood park? Kids and grownups alike can start a nature journal anytime to build reflection, writing, research, and art skills. 

Keeping a Nature Diary or Journal can deepen awareness and connections with the natural world and the San Antonio River Watershed. Keep your five senses alert, then draw and write your observations anytime you find yourself walking around your neighborhood or River Authority Parks.

For ideas on journaling and fun nature activities, click HERE (pg. 16-29) for a comprehensive educational resource from the Prairie Wetlands Learning Center. 

 

 

 

Be a Citizen Scientist!

Featured April 24, 2020

The San Antonio River Authority has a citizen science program that is part of a global community.  You can become a volunteer Citizen Scientist and start collecting important, research-grade data right now! No experience necessary.  Simply use your smartphone to download and sign-up on www.iNaturalist.org for free! Once you're in, be sure to join San Antonio River Projects.

Take part in River Authority’s Backyard Bio-blitz 24-27April, 2020! https://www.inaturalist.org/projects/sara-s-cnc-2020-virtual-backyard-bio-blitz. Please tag us on social media with your observations @sanantonioriver and use #backyardbioblitz.

What is great, too, is that we use the data in our bird studies, our monitoring of the success of the ecosystem restoration along the San Antonio River, and help provide information into wildlife migration. It is simple and FUN!

 

MONARCH BUTTERFLY MONITORING 

Did you know that millions of Monarch Butterflies migrate thousands of miles from the Northeast United States to the oyamel fir forests of Central Mexico to spend the winter? San Antonio, Texas is in their southward and northward migratory path. Our San Antonio River offers a rest stop for these amazing insects. Beginning in April through October, Monarchs may be seen along the San Antonio River and throughout the river's watershed sipping the nectar from its flowers or laying hundreds of eggs on the leaves of native milkweed.  

Would you like to participate as a citizen scientist? Journey North is studying the migratory patterns of the Monarch butterflies and asks others to report sightings to:  https://journeynorth.org/ . You'll learn all about this butterfly's journey, its life cycle, the importance of the data you collect, and even other butterfly species that look a lot like them. 

Earth Day River Pride

Featured on April 22, 2020

 

Student Activity - River Proud Bingo

Click HERE. There are many things we can do to keep our planet, including the San Antonio River, healthy. This game of bingo encourages students and their families to perform actions that will benefit the environment.

Nature Diaries: Barn Swallows

Featured on April 17, 2020


Student Activity - Explore Birds in Your Neighborhood

No experience is necessary when it comes to studying your neighborhood birds. SEEK by iNaturalist is the perfect way to uncover what type of birds frequent your home. Simply snap a picture, and the app will tell you what sort of bird is visiting you. It even has beautiful pictures and maps to explore. SEEK is free and supported by the California Academy of Sciences and National Geographic Society.  When you grow in you birding skills, you can be a part of the eBird citizen science community and help track bird hot spots! Be sure to keep a daily journal of bird visitors!

Neighborhood Nature Scavenger Hunt

Featured April 15, 2020


Student Activity - Neighborhood Scavenger Hunt List
Click HERE to see the list and have fun!

Student Activity - Families can become a citizen scientist with no experience necessary! 
While collecting your scavenger hunt sightings you can also become a part of a citizen science program that is part of a global community.  Start collecting important, research-grade data right now!  Simply use your smartphone to download and sign-up on www.iNaturalist.org for free! Once you're in, be sure to join San Antonio River Projects.

What is great, too, is that scientists locally and globally use the data in research studies about wildlife migration patterns, monitoring rare species, species distribution, and much more! It is simple and FUN!

Nature Diaries: Texas Bluebonnets

Featured April 10, 2020

 

Student Activity - Neighborhood Nature Journals
A day in nature is composed of a million trivial events, scarcely noticeable in the midst of our normal busy lives. Keeping a Nature Diary or Journal can deepen awareness and connections with the natural world and the San Antonio River Watershed. Keep your five senses alert, then draw and write your observations anytime you find yourself walking around your neighborhood.
For ideas on journaling and fun nature activities, click HERE (pg. 16-29) for a comprehensive educational resource from the Prairie Wetlands Learning Center

 

Precious Proportion: An Investigation of All the Water in the World

Featured April 8, 2020

*Video activity is modified from the Project WET curriculum.

Student Lesson How Much Freshwater Is On Our Planet? Create a Model of Distribution
Click HERE. Visualizing the amount or volume of "all the water in the world"  can be difficult due to the scale of our planet Earth. This hands-on activity allows students to create their own model to understand just how much drinkable water there is on our planet, and how critical it is to keep it clean. 

 

Neighborhood Nature Walk

Featured on April 3, 2020

Social Media Video

 

Student Activity - What did you see on your neighborhood hike?  

Using an interactive and free app called iNaturalist SEEK, children can get outside, explore and learn fun facts about the nature all around them. They can identify wildlife and plants and take pictures to earn badges. Here is the link: https://www.inaturalist.org/pages/seek_app

Suggested activities on SEEK, based on skill- Observe a plant, an insect, a bird, or pick your favorite species and share a few facts about it. Go on a scavenger hunt. Photograph a plant/animal interaction, photograph an animal's home, photograph animal clues like tracks and nests, photograph something of a certain color, or just make up your own criteria. Whatever it is, remember to be curious and have fun!

Neighborhood Connections

Featured April 1, 2020 

Social Media Video

 

DIY Watershed Video 

 

Student Lesson part 1: What in the World is a Watershed? Build a Watershed Model 
Click HERE. This hands-on activity and lesson uses the videos featured above to teach concepts such as watersheds, runoff, land forms using a home-made model that students will learn how to build.
  
Student Lesson part 2: How Does the River Become Polluted? Using a Model to Demonstrate Water Pollution
Click HERE. This hands-on activity and lesson uses the model built in Part 1, to educate students about human impacts on creeks and rivers. 

 

Explore an Interactive Map: Will pollution from your house travel to the San Antonio River? Locate your watershed address. Click HERE!